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tv   The Chris Matthews Show  NBC  November 14, 2010 10:00am-10:30am PST

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>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. chris: the search for a challenger begins. how will the republicans pick their champion? hot to his cool, stingy to his spend thrift? manager to his messiah? l wilit bea zealous christian conservative? a true crusader in the culture wars? the gang's all here.
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is this the too good to skip? the chance to battle obama bring in palin romney huckabee, gingrich barber, thune, danpels, nce, paw lnty and even santorum? how big of jamboree is this going to be? and finally pin the tail on the donkey. armed with subpoena power republican darrell issa is kicking the house oversight committee into overdrive. he's promising seven hearings a week. every week. will he target government waste or just the white house? i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. with us today, the huffington post howard fineman. cnn's gloria borger and nbc's kelly o'donnell and " the chicago tribune's" clarence page. first up, president obama returns to washington and right back to reality. a new poll matching him against an unnamed republican candidate in six states he carried has him down an average of 18 points from his 2008 number. so now more than ever republicans see the 2012 nomination as a prize well worth fighting for.
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and right now this fall is when they're making the big choice to go or not go. there are two paths to the nomination. first some will run as the best unobama as his opposite. opposite in gut appeal. republicans might choose sarah palin who would be red hot compared to today's cool obama. or who's a more seasoned manager? like mitt romney governor haley barbour or governor mitch daniels? then because obama's clearly vulnerable on big spending, g.o.p. deficit hawks like newt gingrich tim pawlenty and john thune. but there's another path to the nomination. this way of thinking goes, don't try to be unobama. assume -- play strongly to the christian conservatives who are vying for values voters and might be the thinking of mike schneider huckabee mike pence, tim pawlenty and sarah palin. and exploit those early primaries on the map. it starts in heavily evangelical iowa and then after
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new hampshire quickly goes to baptist south carolina. howard this is the season. we're not jumping the gun. isn't this the season this fall when all those names we mentioned are decided where they go or not? >> no question. both here in washington and in other places where there's money to be had, the race is on. not to collect the money right now. but to sign up the key fundraisers one of the things you have to decide at the beginning is you're running -- if you're running, who's going to raise the money for you. so that's the sort of primary behind the primary that's taking place right this minute. some of the big donors have been locked up. others are going to be locked up in the next few weeks and so forth. sarah palin is the only one because of her national popularity and reach who probably doesn't need to play in that ball game. butll the others are. chris: we're in november and going into december, time to decide? >> yes. the money game sets up everything else and if you don't have that fundraising power it's hard to get out of the gate. i agree with howard. >> it's not all about money. i remember when phil gramm was
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running for the presidency and locked lp aot of money early on. chris: and what's going on right now sf f it's not -- right now if it's not raising money? >> getting your policy team together and learning how to think. i think you see sarah palin doing that. and she's dipping her toe into the policy arena. it's deciding after the mid-term elections, and involved in campaigns, but it's deciding what fights you want to lead on. idea logically. because the party now is looking for leaders. chris: it seems to me ideology is a big thing. teles -- the way i look at it is two brackets in a championship process. where you have eastern division, western division and it seems like there's going to be a tea party division. >> tea party is one division and the other is the fiscal conservatives and a lot of frustration right now. because they're scared to death sarah palin may get the nomination and have another goldwater style debacle like in 1964. fundraising is important. chris: do you think that group
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the more regular group that worries about fiscal conservatism traditional republican insiders do you think they will step back and i guess you're saying you don't think they will let the tea party people run it? >> there's a charisma deficit on the fiscal side. on the values side, you got sarah palin and mike huckabee. people who high-profile tv commentators. so even right now while there's a fundraising going on, the problem for the thunes the pawlentys not on tv enough. chris: it seems that both parties set up their primary fights, the first gate, is iowa. evangelical christian conservatives. somebody like pawlenty would be red hot and huckabee a contender and somebody dull or fiscally conservative and temperamentally conservative like mitt romney wouldn't be able to have the swag to that. >> mitt romney has particular problem. which is the massachusetts health care plan. which is a lot like the obama health care plan. and every other republican that
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i've talked to is planning to attack mitt romney on that basis. chris: he knows that. >> he does know that. chris: he's a politician and should be able to deal with it. >> he will have to deal with it. the way david axelrod top guy at the white house for obama who is looking at all this describes it, is a little differently. he says -- the way he views politics there's a wine candidate and a beer candidate. so that's the white house thinking. the wine candidate will be a manager type and the beer candidate will be somebody who does appeal on a gut level to the people in iowa. >> but in iowa, it's going to be good for mitt romney i believe, if sarah palin runs. and does well in iowa. ok. because then people are going to say oh oh, she can't get elected even though she's doing really well. and who do we look at? chris: and one or thing. sarah palin everybody in the press, we're all watching her. everybody is watching television is watching her. and they aeady know mitt romney.
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he's got the bye. right? he may like that. >> any one of the people in the eastern division that you're talking about -- chris: the regulars. >> the regulars want sarah palin in there. >> exactly. >> to put all the other people in the shade. on the charisma side. chris: let's go to matthews meter because we've already polled on this. 12 regulars including all of you here what's going to be best appeal for candidates trying to win the republican nomination for 2012? eight say it will be their conservative credentials, the red hot stuff, the red meat stuff for the red states. going to the true believers. four say it will be how much they are the anti-obama, the unobama people that are good at business. good at management. good at fiscal responsibility. only you of the four here takes that position. only you says it's going to be the classic -- the classic way of picking a nominee is picking somebody who fills the void of the current incumbent. if obama is big on spending, get somebody who is better on business. >> right. republicans like seniority for one thing. i think new hampshire is going to be more important than iowa.
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for setting up -- i'm still sticking with mitt romney. although he does have problems with the massachusetts health care. that's not going to hurt him in new hampshire i've got a feeling. he can appeal -- >> how about a wall street guy? >> new hampshire people are very fiscally conscious and don't like a socialist program like that. but i think he can make the argument. and he's going to be hard to beat in new hampshire. if -- like pat buchanan surprised everybody by taking new hampshire. that could happen with sarah palin or huckabee. >> you could get a mitch daniels. chris: howard, who's got the best bet at winning the western division, the conservatives? >> sarah palin. chris: best bet. >> sarah palin. >> i'll say huckabee. >> between palin and huckabee i'll give the edge to palin. chris: let's go to the eastern division. we're talking traditional republican party. the club members. the fiscal conservatives. >> i was about to say the boast
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celtics. -- the boston celtics. i'll say it's not going to be romney. he's a weak frontrunner. chris: palin versus -- >> going to be somebody like daniels or barber or thune or somebody out of that category. >> barber or thune. barber ole school. thune, neuer school. >> these -- all of these candidates are ideologically the same. >> let me throw something out about him he's been under the radar, somebody who has been a two-term governor dealing with budget problems he's got that to offer. he worked in washington. >> you're talking about mitch daniels. >> work in washington and areas that might be healthy. >> he's the flavor of the moment. he's the thinking person's eastern division candidate. chris: you say it may be huckabee versus -- palin versus who? >> romney is strong, thune once he's better known will have a very good argument to make and a great record and very popular in indiana.
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controversial things he did. >> a senator. that's the problem. >> a member. house. chris: we picked the country -- the country picked a democratic nominee based on foreign policy. opposition to the iraq war. is foreign policy going to be an opportunity for the republicans to jump in and be hawkish? or is that off the table? >> couple things. none of the people we talked about has much foreign policy profile at all. fascinating. the whole republican field foreign policy, unlike the days with john mccain there's no foreign policy element to it. chris: do you disagree with that? >> only slightly. if you're in the senate like thune, you have a little bit of experience. chris: who's the dream candidate of the neo-cons who's hawkish? >> they probably like them all. >> on afghanistan and interviewing axelrod he pushed very hard against the stories that were saying the administration was about to lengthen the timetable of afghanistan. chris: that's a big issue with us. in the old days the big republican names of course were taft and lodge and more
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recently bush. but your grandfather's brand of the grand old party once known as much for its blue bloods as red states is as old hat as smoked filled rooms. but it was just a decade ago that george w. bush drew knowing latches at new york's al smith dinner with this. >> this is an impressive crowd. the haves and the have mores. [laughter] some people call you the elite. i call you my base. [laughter] chris: and before that it was bush's father a skull and bones guy at yale who addressed his fellow elis with this defense against a shot from 1980 primary opponent john anderson. >> i'll tell you it's tough being tagged a liberal. and strom thurmond's state and going to illinois and having another opponent call you and i quote ronald reagan in a brooks brothers suit. [applause]
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john anderson knows j. press still does my stetch. chris: the famous new haven has been dasher. -- new haven haberdasher. and now it's more about can you field dress a moose. consider sarah palin who pumped up this year's n.r.a. convention reading a litany of you might be a redneck jokes off her blackberry. >> if your anniversary present was getting a septic tank pump and well close, one christmas toddives me an ice auger and i give minimum a tank of gas for his snow machine. if you saved a lot of money on your honeymoon by going hunting. we did. >> hunting is a real connector for most g.o.p. candidates but it can backfire. as patricia and mitt romney found out in the 2008 race. he described himself as a lifelong hunter but then had to explain why he never held a hunting license. >> i'm not a big game hunter.
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i've always been if you will a rodent and rabbit hunter all right? small varmints if you will. chris: but some of the new face of the g.o.p. have more credibility. at least when it comes to small varmints. here's arkansas' mike huckabee on msnbc before the last south carolina primary. >> south carolina is a great place for me. and i know how to eat grits. and speak the language. and you know, we even know how to talk about eating fried squirrel and stuff like that. and we are on the same wavelength. >> yummy. >> and you never did this. >> yeah. >> when i was in college. we used to take a popcorn popper, because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorms and we would fry squirrel. in the dorm room. i bet you never did that. >> too much information. chris: well when we come back, talk about open season. the new republican in charge of house investigations of the obama white house says he'll aim for 280 hearings a year.
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is that their idea of can't we all just get along? plus scoops and predictions out of the notebooks of these top reporters. be right back. >> the "the chris matthews show" is brought to you by charles schwab. get the help your money deserves. talk to chuck.
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chris: welcome back. the new chairman. house investigations committee is darrell issa. this week he was flat out about his plans. he said i want seven hearings a week times 40 -- triple the number the democrats had in last congress. this guy is loaded for bear. both parties do it but the republicans after world war ii house un-american activities and joe mccarthy andill b clinton on the ropes with whitewater and the impeachment hearings and love that subpoena power. are they going to go -- what are they going to do it with
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this year? pass tax cuts or investigate? >> people around issa say that that was not a literal number. that he was responding to a question. and he doesn't really think it will be 280. so we'll have to watch and keep the math on that. but they say they're going to focus more on consumer-oriented things like stuff with the f.d.a. recalls a lot of that kind of stuff. they say not so much on things like you might expect like did joe see stack really get a deal from the house? chris: are we to believe this guy to use a british term randy no get that gavel and get that subpoena power so he can do toys? from china? >> start off with consumer issues. and you build a little, i'm not too hot tempered yet. chris: isn't he trying to get the blagojevich things stirred up and go after the rahm emanuel deals? >> his best quotes come in response to questions. there was a change when the election happened. before he was on rush limbaugh, a -- corrupt president, corrupt
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administration and after the election he backpedaled and said i shouldn't have said that. i think -- darrell issa is a smart guy. he's not a zealot. chris: is this the chance to in vestigate -- >> he never saw a camera he didn't like. and another way is you do have leverage. but the tea party end or the fox news end if you will going after the new black panther party for example which is a dead end believe me, and instead of the consumer rout something like that, the average person can relate to, he's going to do damage. >> i think john boehner is well aware of the overreach that occurred in the 1990's. and he's already talked about it. chris: he said this. >> very well aware of it. they studied the 1990's. they're not coming into this -- so they're -- they're aware of -- chris: and i believe these politicians when they promise they're going to do somet ing in the near term, they tend to know they have to do it. >> he is going to come out. he's going to come out firing. but it's not going to be on the new black panther party.
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chris: the voter intimidation in philadelphia. >> what he's going to do, my understanding having talked to him about in a little bit is that he's going to go after big government. it's all going to be about waste in government. corruption in government. look at government. government's terrible. government -- the obama government's wasting all your money. and if we can only reduce the government and get rid of all this corruption, then there will be more jobs for people. that's how boehner is trying to fit the narrative. chris: what worries republicans and democrats is during the campaign as we're all reminding ourselves here he did say i'm going after former president bill clinton and i am going to find out whether there was a job offer. >> i'm sure there will be that too. but not the first thing out of the box. chris: when we come back scoops and predictions out of the reporters of these top reporters.
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chris: welcome back. howard, tell me something i don't know. >> well, chris this is in the category of none news news. there's not going to be a big shakeup in the white house after this election. it is true that david axelrod in the spring is going to go back to chicago and try to figure out how to get barack obama re-elected. but i don't sense having just talked to him and other people in the white house that a big shakeup is in the offing. chris: is that smart? >> i do think it's smart? -- do i think it's smart? no. but it's who they are. chris: good reporting. >> lots of talk by the democrats who want to bring up don't ask don't tell.
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attach it to a defense spending bill. and the lame duck -- in the lame duck session and in talking to republicans and democrats now i'm thinking it's not going to happen. chris: going to hurt the president. >> not going to happen. chris: why does it only hurt the president with the gay community and not the republicans who are against if four square? >> because i think the gay community is already skeptical of barack obama. they feel that he hasn't delivered and that he could have delivered for them. and so i think he's got a problem. >> you can't get enough of issa. the king of oversight. i'm hearing that he may be sitting down with vice president joe biden this coming week to try to talk about how to bring over stimulus. could there be a way to hold people accountable for what they spent the money for because that's the problem. >> in chicago another rahm report for you chris. and last i reported on rahm emanuel, he was running very much as a contender. since then all three of the
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stronger candidates have dropped out for various reasons to be with family and -- chris: the mayor's race. >> luis gutierrez, all real strong. dart's not running. now rahm is the strongest guy in the field. chris: the next mayor of optimistic? >> there is a mysterious group that's backing rob halpin. who is he? that's rahm's tenant in his apartment back in chicago who refuses to move. and now this question -- >> the rent is too high. >> but there is an ordinance that says the candidate has to be a resident. chris: this is like christian gillibrand. gets into the race and nobody gets in there with her. and a hint at combat troops may be in afghanistan strongly until 2014. so will the democratic base stay with the president? be right back.
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chris: welcome back. this week the president's national security team said in what some called a coordinated effort that withdraw of combat troops from afghanistan will take at least until 2014. the president himself hinted at the delayed drawdown in his address to the indian parliament. >> well, i have made it clear that american forces will begin the transition to afghan responsibility next summer. i've also made it clear that
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america's commitment to the afghan people will endure. chris: so our big question this week will the democratic base stay with obama? if he stays in afghanistan? howard. >> the to quote david axelrod who i interviewed he was very strong to send a message to the base we're sticking to the timetable. whoever those unofficial administration sources were he was saying it's not -- chris: still 12. >> >> gloria. >> still 12. and i think the base is going to make him stick to it. >> it's important they're talking conditions. they're reinforcing that possibility of staying longer. chris: so 14. >> i think we're going to officially pull out. and unofficially stay in like we always do. every place. chris: i think they're leaning toward 2014. thanks to howard fineman gloria borger, kelly o'donnell and clarence page. that's the show. thanks for watching.
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the black widow spider's severe bite can cause coma and even death. the african black mamba can kill a man with one bite. but there's an even deadlier predator